While originally thought of a safe alternative to cigarette smoking, vaping has quickly become a dangerous new epidemic for high school students. These products may have originally been intended to ween adult smokers off of cigarettes, but this new method of inhaling has addicted a new generation to nicotine.
Vaping involves using an electronic cigarette or similar device to inhale certain vapors or aerosols, which could contain substances such as nicotine, marijuana or flavoring. Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among both middle and high school students.
E-cigarettes may be a “safer” option for adult smokers, but they are not safe for young people. Most e-cigarettes, especially the most popular brands, still contain nicotine, and nicotine is a highly addictive drug — especially for teens, who are likely to get hooked on the drug more easily than adults.
Teens are especially drawn to vaping products because they are easy to conceal and come in many flavors. Some may be as small as a USB drive, and as easy to hide. The small size makes it easy for a teen to sneak them into school or hide from their parents. Some teachers have even reported students vaping in class. The student is able to slip the vape their pocket or sleeve quickly without being caught.
The increase in teen vaping is a growing concern because of the adverse health effects of nicotine and the other substances that can be found in vape liquid. Many vape users may not even know that there is nicotine in the liquid they are vaping. Health officials say nicotine is harmful to developing brains. Some researchers also believe vaping will make kids more likely to take up cigarettes, and perhaps later try other drugs.
The epidemic has become so threatening that the FDA has pulled products off the shelves. They want manufacturers to take more responsibility for their marketing practices. New legislation threatens to punish companies that advertise these products in a way that appeals to children. Hopefully, with time, these measures will help reduce vaping among teenagers.
If your child is struggling with vaping, another addiction or a behavioral health issue, The Bougainville House can help. We offer individual, group, couples, and family therapy programs. Call us to learn more. 954-764-7337